Scientists with the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Centerreleased their report on Lake Tahoe's average water clarity for 2017. Their finding of an average of 59.7 feet depth of clarity is the lowest since they began taking measurements in the 1960s. TERC's scientists think the recent historic drought and the following record-breaking rain and snow caused the downturn in clarity, with the warming of the Lake's water playing a role.
Climate scientists expect extreme weather fluctuations like these to become more common. And in the past four years, Lake Tahoe's water has been warming at 10 times its historic trend. While Lake Tahoe has shown it has the ability to be resilient to threats, global warming puts unprecedented pressures on the Lake's fragile ecology.
Time is running out to register for the new Sagehen Creek Field Station course! You won't want to miss a week of incredible experts in the fields of geology, hydrology, botany, and more in this unbeatable location. Nestled in the Sierra just outside of Truckee, students in this week-long course will have room and board covered while exploring the stunning features of the field station and surrounding North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Register by June 30, course dates are July 15-21!
New UC Berkeley research on 62 species across six continents looked for global shifts in the timing of daily activity of mammals in response to humans. On average, mammals were 1.36 times more nocturnal in response to human disturbance.
Urban sprawl in Southern California is reflecting more of the sun's heat, dissipating the clouds that shade coastal Southern California in the summer, according to a new study by UC Santa Barbara researchers.
Citizen Science Day is April 14.
"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew" - Marshall McLuhan.
In exchange for logging at least 40 service hours in the 2017 calendar year, certified California Naturalists will receive a beautiful 18k gold and enamel pin service pin as our thank you. The link to the volunteer portal will always be available on the top yellow menu of our home page under “Record Service Hours.”
We love the Splendid Mariposa Lily (Calochortussplendens) that was chosen from 2016 nominations!
Want to start collecting the CalNat Annual Service Pins?
Step 2) update your capstone project title and mailing address in the "Edit your profile" section of the volunteer portal.
Step 3) This year, we will contact everyone who entered 40+ hours and ask them to OPT IN and fill out a very short survey to receive a pin. We'll send everyone the survey link a few times. You'll choose a location at an organization near you to pick up your pin at your convenience OR pay a small shipping fee to receive the pin at your doorstep.
Why the change of pin protocol? 1- We have over 1800 naturalists in our community now and we've outgrown the system of automatically sending everyone pins. 2- We had a glitch last year that we hope to remedy by implementing the new opt-in system. This way if we missed you last year, you can get both pins this year (sorry to those individuals that were affected!) and 3- and perhaps most importantly, by opting in and picking your pin up, we will save an incredible amount in shipping, packing materials, etc thus making the whole process more environmentally friendly.
Why log hours? Our community of over 1800 certified California Naturalists has volunteered over 103,000 hours in five years! We suspect that is a HUGE under representation of the time you actually spend volunteering. And we understand- logging in and reporting isn't likely your motivation or the most rewarding part of your efforts. But the bottom line is that when you report your activities, we have a metric we can share with our colleagues at UC and the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, our partnering organizations, and beyond that demonstrates that our collective efforts are making a significant impact in this state. That metric eventually translates into allocations of resources from collaborators and sponsors to keep offering and expanding programming (like the Statewide Conference that ALL Naturalists received a discount and/or scholarship to attend!) that will keep our network growing, connected, and learning together. You are part of a larger, longer UC legacy of stewardship. Please help us measure your impact!
What are the rules for volunteer hours? Volunteer hours are defined as any time spent for which you are not paid tending nature, teaching others, doing environmental science, or taking action on behalf of conservation. Volunteer hours should take place in California and fall into the four categories of restoration/conservation, education/interpretation, citizen science, or program support. Hours also need to be attributed to an institution- please choose your organization in the drop down menu of partner institutions that offer the course, or specify “other” institution. Your 8+ Capstone Project volunteer hours should be logged and will count toward the pin, however class time doesn't! Here's a guide that explains the categories of service and how to log your volunteer hours. We offer a new pin design every year to qualifying Naturalists, so if you can't make it to 40 hours this year, you'll have future opportunities!
Need help? Issues gaining access to the site or logging hours? Here's a guide that explains the categories of service and how to log your volunteer hours. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further troubleshooting. We can re-send your portal invitation or help if you're having trouble gaining access. We'll be on vacation but please be patient and we'll get you the help you need!
We look forward to celebrating your service and sending your new pins in March!
Thanks for all you do!
We have all been gripped by the weather this past month with hurricanes causing extreme flooding on the Gulf Coast and wind damage in the Caribbean. Right here at home in California many are in harm's way of unprecedented wildfires, watching them burn right through their neighborhoods and much-loved wild places. These types of extreme weather and changes in temperature, precipitation levels, and soil moisture are consistent with what scientists predict to occur under climate change. While it's difficult to parse out the various causes of any specific storm or fire, these types of extreme events have and will continue to become both more likely and more severe by mid-century as the global rate of fossil fuel consumption continues to climb exponentially.
In response, California Naturalist is developing an advanced training on climate change with a focus on local civic engagement. We want to share the most recent science on the topic with the growing naturalist community and others as well as discuss ways to communicate effectively about the subject and take concrete action. New information on climate change is coming out all the time, so the goal is to learn what we can together and continue to stay in touch and share the latest science, best practices, inspirational stories, and opportunities to engage through our CalNat community.
Many of you are already making changes to help reduce your carbon footprint, working with your community to adapt to ongoing and anticipated change, or making preparations to minimize your vulnerability to change and maximize your ability to bounce back when changes do occur. Maybe you have made changes to your commute, diet, residence, gardening or landscaping practices, purchasing or consumption habits, job, or how you volunteer. Please take a few minutes to tell us your story!
UC California Naturalist is working with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research to help populate the new Climate Adaptation Clearinghouse by capturing authentic experiences of all Californians as they deal with a changing climate. We hope to share the diversity of people, places, and their own personal responses – no matter how large or small – that make climate stories inherently unique and at the same time universal.
Each story answers three simple questions:
1) What motivated you to act?
2) What was your individual or group action/response or change in behavior/practice? and
3) What has your experience been since initiating this change?
Sierra Streams Institute in Nevada City is taking their much-loved California Naturalist class to the next level! This fall, Sierra Streams will be offering the California Naturalist advanced training course: Salmon and Steelhead in the Sierra. The course will run for three weeks this fall. To register go HERE. Download a flier HERE.
The course will take you on a journey from the spawning tributaries of Nevada County to the efforts to conserve local runs on the Yuba River to the regional scale efforts to protect these species from extinction. The course will be three evenings of fascinating presentations from experts working locally on conservation efforts to visionaries attempting to protect these species on a global scale.
Two weekend field trips will cap off this extraordinary opportunity to learn from the experts while observing the local Chinook spawning run in person. Field trips include SYRCL's Salmon Tour experience where participants will raft down the lower Yuba River, with raft guides from Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC), to experience all of the salmon spawning action firsthand. In addition, Sierra Foothill Research Station will provide an opportunity for a walking tour of an actual salmon and steelhead spawning restoration site with local experts that take you through the on-the-ground efforts being put forth to conserve our last remaining anadramous fish.
Dates for the class are Wednesday evenings, October 25th and November 1st & 4th, and field experiences are on Sunday, October 29th and Saturday, November 4th.
Payment for the course is $250 for California Naturalist Alumni and $275 for the general public. This fee includes the $55 fee for the SYRCL led salmon tour.
To register for the course go HERE. For more information about Sierra Streams California Naturalist courses go to our website www.cnssi.wordpress.com. The course is capped at 20 students and it will fill up quickly, so sign up soon!
*Please note that this is not the certificated California Naturalist class that is offered in the spring that runs for 10 weeks. This course is open to anyone (ages 18+) with interest in naturalist history and ecology – previous California Naturalist is not required.